The Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve (PA) is dedicated to supporting and promoting the natural and cultural resources of the White Clay Creek Valley
White Clay Creek Preserve Celebrates 30 years!
On October 16, 1984 the DuPont Company officially signed the lands they owned (1350 acres in all) to the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware. This was the start of what we all enjoy as the White Clay Creek Preserve in Pennsylvania and the White Clay Creek State Park in Delaware. A big thank you to the individuals who for the past 50 years have fought to keep the lands along the banks of the White Clay Creek natural, and undeveloped for all to enjoy!
White Clay Creek's Plants of the Season's Handouts
Over the last year Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve offered a series of four seasonal hikes dedicated to learning about local plants. As part of the hike participants received a seasonal plant handout. All four handouts are available below to download.
Thank you April Schmitt for the hikes and sharing this valuable information with us all!
Friends of WCCP initiates an Adopt-A-Trail Program
Since the Friends of the White Clay Creek Preserve will be responsible for maintaining the new Tri-State Trail and the trails on the east side of the Preserve, we are initiating a volunteer Adopt-A-Trail Program to adequately coordinate maintenance of the trails in the WCC Preserve. As part of the program, a maintenance network is in place consisting of Preserve maintenance staff and trained volunteers. They will work with the Adopt-A-Trail coordinator to respond to trail maintenance needs identified by our Adopt-A-Trail volunteers.
This program provides an excellent opportunity for trail users to get involved and contribute to improving the trail system in the Preserve. Adopt-A-Trail volunteers provide monthly monitoring and limited maintenance of assigned trails, including removal of litter and fallen branches and pruning of intruding vegetation (especially multi-flora rose). Volunteers also check trails after storms and high winds.
Conditions and specific problems, such as a fallen tree blocking the trail, are reported for follow-up. An Adopt-A-Trail Report is completed after each trail survey to provide the Preserve Maintenance Staff and the Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator with the status of the adopted trail. Reports of "no problems" are just as valuable as ones that uncover conditions needing attention.
You do not need to be an official Adopt-A-Trail volunteer to report maintenance problems on Preserve Trails. You can contact the Preserve Staff through the WCC Preserve's e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Nick Duca, Preserve Maintenance, and Mike Kutzmonich, WCC Preserve and Ridley Creek State Park Manager access the Preserve's e-mail account daily and can respond to maintenance issues. For emergencies or quicker response one can call the WCC Preserve number 610-274-2900 and/or the Ridley Creek State Park's phone number 610-892-3900. Ridley Creek has someone to answer the phones most of the day. For serious non-maintenance related emergencies the PA State Police Avondale Barracks number is 610-268-2022.
All new volunteers will receive a walk-through training session. Training in trail construction and maintenance techniques or comparable experience is required for any trail maintenance activity beyond clearing of litter and small branches, trail trimming, and submitting status reports. No new trail improvements or significant modifications should be performed without specific review and permission from the Preserve Staff.
Rick Phillips has agreed to serve as the Adopt-A-Trail coordinator. He will work closely with Preserve maintenance staff and the Preserve's rangers and manager to coordinate and discuss the needs addressed in trail reports, as well as coordinate volunteers for any major maintenance needs.
Adopt-A-Trail Segments include:
Penndel Trail: Parking Lot #1 to WCC Fiberglass Bridge
Penndel Trail: WCC Fiberglass Bridge to Middle Branch of WCC
Penndel Trail: Middle Branch of WCC to Delaware Border
Edwin Leid Trail:Good Hope Road to London Tract Road
Edwin Leid Trail: London Tract Road to Sharpless Road
Boundary Line: WCC Fiberglass Bridge to Yeatman Station Road
Boundary Line: Yeatman Station Road to Corner Ketch Road
Charles Bailey Trail: WCC Fiberglass Bridge to Yeatman Station Road
Charles Bailey Trail:Yeatman Station Road to Delaware Border
Vaughn's Trail: Lot 1 to Edwin Leid
Tri-State Trail: Arc Corner Road to Tri-State Marker
This is a great opportunity to give back to the fantastic trail system that we have the good fortune to have in our backyard. If you are interested in adopting one of the trails as an Adopt-A-Trail volunteer please e-mail our Coordinator, Rick Phillips( email@example.com).
Dorothy Miller Honored with Preservation Award
White Clay Creek Preserve and White Clay Creek State Park would not be
here today if it weren’t for Dorothy Miller. She’s dedicated thousands
upon thousands of hours for the past 50+ years in successfully
protecting this natural resource.
Dorothy came to the cause as an avid birder and lover of nature who spent much time along the banks of the White Clay Creek.
“It was a real grassroots effort,” said Miller in previous interviews about the processes of saving the White Clay Creek from being dammed. “We wanted to see the area preserved for its natural values. There was so much support in the whole region that politicians found our project desirable.”
As one of the founding members of a Delaware Coalition created to fight the building of the dam, she worked tirelessly to help elected officials, government employees, and the general public understand the importance of the White Clay Valley and to find a solution to keep the Creek free-flowing.
Eventually the Delaware Coalition merged with a similar Pennsylvania group to form the White Clay Watershed Association. This group was responsible for having DuPont’s holdings along the White Clay Creek donated as the Preserve and Park .
After the lands were preserved and donated, Dorothy continued to lend her talents through the Bi-State Citizen’s Advisory Council, which was tasked with working with Pennsylvania and Delaware park officials to turn the private lands into public spaces. According to Miller, when the Park and Preserve were designed, the focus was to spread out use along the entire area. “You can always find someplace to be alone,” said Miller.
The Park and Preserve we know today has much to do with the vision and efforts of Dorothy Miller. In 2009 she said, “We still work on this everyday. There is a lot going on. We are trying to prevent damage to the stream. We are always looking to acquire adjacent lands while the opportunity is still there. We are still fighting battles.”
To this day, she continues the work in her quiet, but steady way.
It was a Friend-Raiser event:
The First Annual TRIHUMPF Race a Great Success!
Saturday, May 18 was the perfect day for the Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve's first annual TriHumpf Race. Over 90 people participated in one of the runs -- the 4.5 mile, 8 mile, or the half-marathon to the Tri-State Marker.
Hunt Bartine, of both Trail Dawgs (our partner organization for this event) and FWCCP (Pa) says that at minimium the participants at the TRIHUMPF learned about what an amazing resource the White Clay Preserve is as they ran the trails. He thinks many even learned more about the mission of FWCCP (Pa), too.
Thanks to Hunt and the Trail Dawgs for organizing this event!
Friends leads CreekFest Hike to Tri-State Marker
Check out the other CreekFest 2013 photos under the photos tab!
Kalb Honored with 2013Preservation Award
In 1946 Jan Kalb pulled into the driveway of a farm on Whiskey Hill Road (now called Indiantown Road), just off Route 896 in Landenberg. She told her husband, “I want to live here the rest of my life.” Celebrating her 90th birthday this year, Jan has made that dream come true, but it wasn't without a fight.
When the pristine beauty of the White Clay watershed was in jeopardy with a proposal to dam the White Clay Creek for a reservoir, Jan along with a handful of other local citizens from both Pennsylvania and Delaware fought it.
From the 1960s and 1970s, Jan, a mother of three, spent thousands of her own dollars and countless hours each year attending any meeting where the fate of the White Clay Creek was to be discussed. When she received a phone call she would drop everything and drive to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Doylestown, wherever, to represent the White Clay Watershed Association's position on stopping the dam.
With the success of the citizens to stop the dam project, the land which had been acquired for the dam became the White Clay Creek State Park in Delaware and the White Clay Creek Preserve in Pennsylvania in 1984.
For the next 30 years Jan has been a presence in fighting for the protection of the area. She recently obtained a conservation easement on her farm, protecting it from development.
The Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve chose Jan as the first recipient of its Preservation Award, an award dedicated to recognizing the service of those who have contributed to preserving the Preserve. “We appreciate your involvement,” said Gary Schroeder, president of Friends of the White Clay Creek Preserve “The White Clay Creek Preserve is here because you were involved.”
2012 Preserve Fall Work Day
On September 29, Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve held its first Preserve Invasive Species and Dump Site Removal Day. About 25 Friends came out and helped with either invasive species removal or to help remove buried trash from a former dump site near the barn of the former Sharpless House. In one morning the dump site was cleared and bags and bags of invasive species were removed from the area.
Special thanks to April Schmitt for organizing this event.
At one of our early organization sessions, leaders of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and representatives from Pennsylvania State Parks talked to our Friends group. (L to R) Ken Lewis, Assistant Regional Park Manager for DCNR, Gary Schroeder, chairman, Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve (PA), Marci Mowrey, president, Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, and Bill Forrey, Vice-President Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.